Austinites should expect to pay 2 percent more in new city budget

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin residents should expect to pay approximately 2 percent more — on average — in city fees and rates this upcoming year to offset the city’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2019. For the average homeowner, this means you’ll probably pay around $5 more every month.

“Our city has grown by 30 percent in the last 10 years and our budget needs to reflect that. And we feel like we are providing the best value for the taxpayer dollars and really limiting the increases of this budget to only $5/month for the average homeowner,” City Manager Spencer Cronk said. 

The proposed all-funds budget for the new year is $4.1 billion, which is a 4 percent increase from the prior year. The largest component of the general budget fund is allotted for public safety. The new budget allows for the addition for 33 police officers, bringing the total number of officers to 1,929. The budget will also add 16 firefighters.

“Twelve of those were added to the budget previously, but not funded,” Cronk said. “We’ve also increased the staffing for victim services. While this satisfies some of the immediate needs around community policing, it’s critical that we secure a labor agreement before we make decisions about future staffing levels and how they may impact the budget.”

The city will also be spending nearly half a billion dollars on economic opportunity and affordability. 

City civilian employees will also see a 2.5 percent raise across the board, and the city is also increasing its minimum wage from $13.84/hour to $15/hour. City employees will also see no increase in health insurance premiums.

For residents, they’ll see a $1.27 monthly increase in the Transportation User Fee on their utility bill. 

The Austin City Council will conduct a work session on Aug. 15, and public hearings are scheduled for Aug. 22 and 30. The final budget will be approved in September. 

How the New Budget Will Impact AFD

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